Kern County Takes the Lead for Oil Production

It’s not  breaking news for Kern residents to learn we made another top oil production list. But in terms of top oil producing counties in nation, Kern is the ultimate producer. Well, if you take out the “Protraction Area” in the Gulf of Mexico and the “Unorganized Borough” of Alaska that took the number one and two spots on DrillingInfo’s recent study, then we’re technically the number one producing county.

Half of US Oil Production Comes from 20 Counties

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Kern County is home to several prolific fields including Midway-Sunset, Kern River, and South Belridge. The fact that Kern is at the top of the list is all the more impressive given that some of these fields have been producing for over 100 years. The list below uncovers where American oil production is currently coming from, both across the country and within the key producing areas. It is striking that so much of our production comes from a relatively small geographic space.


As you can see from the column “Type” above, DrillingInfo’s research analyst Kevin Thuot is taking some dramatic license with the term “county”. There are no counties in the Gulf of Mexico, but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) defines Protraction Areas which subdivide the gulf. Most of Alaska is lumped into a single “Unorganized Borough,” so he’s using US Geological Survey (USGS) quadrangles instead ( So like I said earlier, Kern County is technically the No. 1 county for oil production in the US.

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